Northern Crescent

Phyciodes selenis


Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 7/8 inches (3.2 - 4.8 cm).

Caterpillar hosts: Asters, in the sunflower family (Asteraceae).

Eggs are laid in bunches of about 40 on the underside of host plant leaves. Caterpillars eat leaves, and young ones live and feed communally.

Moist open areas in rocky places, wooded streams, marsh edges, and shale barrens.

Picture taken June 16, 2010


The Northern Crescent is a very common Crescent on Crex Meadows. Identification can be difficult unless the underside of the wing is observed.

Picture to the left take June 14, 2016

Color variation when looking at an open wing specimen can vary much with the Northern Crescent. There remains some discussion as to whether the Pearl Crescent is the same species. I have not verified the Pearl Crescent on Crex Meadows at this time. I have some photos that are not detailed enough to show beyond a doubt that both the Northern and Pearl Crescent exist on Crex Meadows. If the Pearl Crescent is on this site, it is in low numbers and possibly only present in extremely good weather conditions.

Sightings Chart

Colored squares along the x-axis indicate weeks none of this species were seen. Example May 1 - 15 show several visits over the years with no sightings of the Northern Crescent.
Chart Accuracy Self Rating: Under-represented in High Count Years.

Clicking on chart will bring up full count graph in a new window.


TaxonomyNorthern Crescent-Phyciodes cocyta   
Kingdom: Animalia Animals
Phylum: Arthropoda Arthropods
Superclass: Hexapoda Hexapods
Class: Insecta Insects
Subclass: Pterygota Winged Insects
    Order: Lepidoptera Butterflies and Moths
      Superfamily:  Papilionoidea
          Family:   Nymphalidae    Brushfooted
            Subfamily:    Nymphalinae     Crescent
               Tribe:      Melitaeini
                 Subtribe:      Phyciodina
                   Genus:       Phyciodes
                      Specie:           cocyta